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J Laryngol Otol. 2008 May;122(5):442-6. Epub 2007 Aug 1.

Clinico-epidemiological study of complicated and uncomplicated chronic suppurative otitis media.

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Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences, Hubli, India. entvikram@rediffmail



This study aimed to compare the clinical and epidemiological profiles of cases of complicated and uncomplicated chronic suppurative otitis media, based on their prognostic factors.


This was a prospective, cross-sectional study conducted in a tertiary care medical college hospital over a period of two and a half years. The study group comprised 187 ears, out of which 62 had complications while 125 did not. The two groups were compared with respect to nine prognostic variables: age distribution, sex, patient's domicile, literacy status, duration of ear discharge at presentation, ear pathology, predisposing disease focus in the nose or throat, ear swab microbiology, and hearing loss.


Patients in the complicated chronic suppurative otitis media group had a higher male predominance and were younger. Rural and illiterate patients had a higher risk of developing complications. Cholesteatoma and granulation tissue were potential risk factors in the complicated chronic suppurative otitis media group. Ears with complications were more prone to develop sensorineural hearing loss. Age, sex, duration of ear discharge, predisposing disease focus in nose or throat, and ear swab microbiology were all less useful prognostic indicators of complications.


Early detection and timely treatment of chronic suppurative otitis media in rural and illiterate patients may prevent life-threatening complications and reduce their incidence. Ears that harbour relatively large quantities of both cholesteatoma and granulation tissue together require more urgent surgical intervention and more extensive disease clearance in order to prevent complications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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